Talking Objects

Team

An international team of curators is responsible for the curatorial concepts of the planned events and exhibitions in Germany and on the African continent. The overall concept was developed by Isabel Raabe and Mahret Ifeoma Kupka.

Curatorial Team

© Marina Ackar

Mahret Ifeoma Kupka

Concept & Curator

Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is an art scholar, freelance writer and, since 2013, Curator of Fashion, Body and Performance at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. In her exhibitions, lectures, texts, and interdisciplinary projects, she addresses the issues of the future, memory culture, representation, and the decolonization of art and cultural practices in Europe and on the African continent. She is a member of the advisory board of the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V. and spokesperson for the Neue Deutsche Museumsmacher*innen. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is part of the curatorial team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© Andreas Roth

Isabel Raabe

Concept & Curator

Isabel Raabe is a curator and cultural producer based in Berlin. She studied contemporary dance and cultural management and curated numerous interdisciplinary international art and cultural projects. She is interested in decolonial curatorial and artistic strategies that deconstruct Western perspectives and traditions of thought. In 2015 she initiated RomArchive – Digital Archive of the Roma, which won several prizes and led to her book “Widerstand durch Kunst – Sinti und Roma und ihr kulturelles Schaffen”, Resistance through art (Raabe/Rose/Pankok, Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin, 2022). Isabel initiated the project TALKING OBJECTS which consists of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB and the TALKING OBJECTS ARCHIVE, a digital archive for decolonial knowledge production which is supposed to be launched in 2024.

© Njoki Ngumi

Dr. Njoki Ngumi

Curator

Dr. Njoki Ngumi is an author and feminist thinker based in Nairobi. She has worked in the private and public health sectors in Kenya and is now a member of The Nest Collective, as well as the Learning and Development Coordinator for HEVA – Africa's first business fund for creative industries. She is particularly interested in working with youth, women and minorities, public education and socio-economic equality. With The Nest Collective, she was most recently involved in the International Inventories Program. Njoki Ngumi is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© Chao Tayiana Maina

Chao Tayiana

Curator

Chao Tayiana's work focuses on the application of digital technology to the preservation and dissemination of African cultural heritage. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage (Nairobi) and co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa initiative, as well as the Museum of British Colonialism. Chao Tayiana holds an MSc in International Heritage Visualization from the University of Glasgow/School of Art and worked for the Science Museum Group as a software developer for digital museum exhibits. She was awarded the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for Women in Technology. Chao Tayiana is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

Curator

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is a researcher at Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and curator of the Théodore Monod Museum, as well as Secretary General of ICOM, Senegal. He was part of the directorial team of Dak'art 2018 and curator of Dak'art 2020. As a theorist and curator, his work focuses on contemporary art, African cultural heritage, global history, and African museum institutions; he teaches art history and African cultural heritage. Ndiaye holds a PhD in art history from Université Rennes II and is a graduate of the National Institute of Heritage in Paris and the National Institute of Art History, Paris. El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is part of the Curatorial Team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

Team

Celina Baljeet Basra

Celina Baljeet Basra is a curator, writer, and cultural worker based in Berlin. She has been Curator of the Berlin art space Galerie im Turm, Assistant Curator at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and has worked in the catalogue and mediation team of the 10th Berlin Biennale, amongst others. She graduated in Art History in a Global Context and contributed to a research project on the Interrelated Dynamics of Display and Situation within Aesthetic Reflection (Free University Berlin). Celina is part of the curatorial collective The Department of Love. Her first novel HAPPY was published in November 2023.
At Talking Objects Lab, she works in project coordination, editing and social media. Within the project, she most recently co-curated the series LA PALABRE, as well as the public program of the exhibition Ré-imaginer le passé at KINDL together with Isabel Raabe.
 

Jeanne Mizero Nzakizabandi

Jeanne Mizero Nzakizabandi is a curator, educator and writer. She lives in the Rhein Main area where she studied Political Science and Philosophy (B.A.) as well as Curatorial Studies (M.A.). With this background, she strives for a transdisciplinary practice, which not least includes issues around community care. Jeanne's interests include post- and decolonial theories, Black German history, and Black feminist theorizing particularly in relation to body politics. In the past, she has worked for the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, and the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, among others

© Melih Demirkol

Jasmin Anna Awale

Jasmin Anna Awale has been a Master's student of global art history with a focus on Africa at the FU Berlin since April 2022. She participated in a tandem exchange organized by Kulturweit and the German UNESCO Commission. The exchange focused on the histories of colonialism and the perspectives of our postcolonial present. In her university past, Jasmin has worked extensively on viewer reactions to sculptures read as female. She is currently looking for new research interests.

Digital Team

African Digital Heritage

Kylie Kiũngũyũ

Kylie Kiunguyu is a Communications specialist with a penchant for poetry and creative writing. She has over nine years’ experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors. As an avid Pan-Africanist and social justice advocate, her published work champions Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), gender inequality, minority representation, social justice, African knowledge and histories, climate action, conservation and regeneration.
Her editorial work can be found on platforms such as This is AfricaDaily Nation, and Love Matters. She is also a published contributor to the anthologies “Akello” and “A Side of Raunch”, and a fierce hoarder of more personal pieces on her blog; Beads and Mirrors.

Mutanu Kyany’a

Mutanu is a digital society scholar who works with African communities to identify how they can use technology to protect, preserve and promote their culture and heritage assets. She has extensive experience in designing holistic digital approaches that support research and innovation, that centre the needs and realities of communities, in the cultural heritage sector in Kenya. Her research interests lie at the intersection of digital storytelling, cultural heritage, gender studies and community participation. Mutanu has a background in Computer Science and a specialization in digital cultures and community development. She consults for a variety of national and international organizations.

Mũthoni Mwangi

Mũthoni Mwangi is a multidisciplinary creator working at the intersection of African philosophy, Cultural heritage, and community development. Her approach is mostly experimental and grounded in the spirit of Community building and community care. At ADH, she works as a research associate and curator on various projects. She is a published poet and often writes for the ADH website. She has a BA in Development Studies and Philosophy. Muthoni spends most of her time reading, writing, thinking about or eating potatoes, making zines, and watching Salem.
 
 

Cheryl Ogada

Cheryl Ogada blends her passion for history and technology in heritage preservation to champion the redefinition of the role of technology in safeguarding Africa’s cultural legacies. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Diplomacy, Development, and International Security from Daystar University. 
 

Wairimu Nduba

Wairimũ Nduba is a Kenyan multidisciplinary creative whose practice is rooted and guided by African sonic principles which hold music to be a site of communal gathering, healing, joy, and beauty. Her work sits at the intersections of audio-visual archiving and sonic curation. She is a classically trained pianist and her experience in the music field revolved around education, having been a music tutor for the past 7 years, before transitioning towards building and establishing an online archive of Kenyan music histories titled Wer Jokenya. As a doula and through her 18-year background in ballet, as a dancer and a tutor, her work explores how the body holds memory, specifically expressed within the realm of African practices that carried forward history through performance, embodied movement, and expression.
 

visual intelligence

danielle rosales

the work of the german-cuban communication designer and sociologist focuses on applied visual systems and urbanism. danielle combines her concepts with a powerful visuality that can simultaneously display and communicate complex content. the basis for this is an anthropological approach, which assumes that designers not only act in a socially responsible manner themselves, but are also able to help shape transformation processes in the sense of a sustainable development. for danielle design is a craft and a form of expression that enables to deal operationally with existing knowledge and to actively (co-)design living environments. in 2020 she founded the design studio visual intelligence & communication gbr together with robin coenen.

robin coenen

born in bonn. studied visual communication at fh aachen & zhdk/zurich university of the arts (bachelor of arts) and data visualization at the parsons new school for design (master of science). from 2015 to 2018 in paris, responsible for the »digital media department« in the atelier intégral ruedi baur. since 2018 in berlin, working as an information designer at the interface of design, science, technology and visual anthropology (including: innovation center for mobility and social change, labor k / institute for city and regional planning). in 2020, co-founded the design studio “visual intelligence” together with sociologist and designer danielle rosales. between 2017 and 2021 various teaching positions at the fh aachen. since autumn 2021  research and teaching associate at the »class for informationdesign« situated at berlin university of the arts.

alisa verzhbitskaya

born in moscow. came to germany as a jewish quota refugee. during her internship (2015) she was personal assistant of a photographer in berlin. since 2016 alisa has experience in art direction, having worked for brands and institutions. she is a designer with a particular interest in cultural research, migration and related social issues. in 2021 she won the stiftung buchkunst awarde for the project »culture switch: russia and china meet germany«. for her master's thesis (2022) at the university of the arts (udk) in the information design class, she investigated on the influence of multilingualism, analyzing text and language on building facades in berlin. her working method is often documentary, frequently photographic. thus, she focuses on an aesthetic and comprehensible visual display of information.

Visual Language

Visual Intelligence

a world steadily synchronizing in real-time requires a wide-ranging competence of various visualization strategies and tools. the fundament of »visual intelligence« is an anthropological approach, which assumes that designers not only act socially responsible themselves, but are able to help shape transformation processes in terms of sustainable developments. design is craftsmanship and form of expression, which enables to deal operationally with the variety existing knowledge(s) and to actively contribute to the visualization of complex environments. as designers, informationdesigners and sociologist we act as visual experts in order to make information, data, knowledge, identities and ideas accessible, legible and experienceable. depending on the context, we design and generate a visual grammar that enables us to visualize in an informing, narrating, linking, legible, opposing, programming, poetic, (de-)constructing or mapping way. »visual intelligence« was founded by danielle rosales & robin coenen in 2020. amon others, our visual languages unfolded in »dekoloniale. memory culture in the city«, »talking objects lab«, »museums and society«. we also worked at »critical mapping in municiplaist movements«, visualising and structuring counter data. between 2021-2023 we designed and produced the exhibitions »Looking Back | Schaut Zurück«, »Trotz Allem — Migration in die Kolonialmetropole Berlin« und »Solidarisiert euch! Stand in Solidarität! Schwarzer Widerstand und Globaler Antikolonialismus in Berlin, 1919–1933«.